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$4 David Bowie painting sells at auction for nearly $90,000

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A painting by British pop icon David Bowie recently discovered and purchased for about $4 at a Canadian store that resells donated goods, sold at auction in Toronto for nearly $90,000 (about ₦38 million). The auction house shared this information on Friday.

The sale price blew past auction house Cowley Abbot’s estimated $7,000 to $10,000 valuation of the diminutive artwork. It went to an American collector.

Auctioneer Rob Cowley said a dozen bidders vied for the computer and acrylic collage on canvas. The painting is part of the so-called D Head series of portraits of the Ziggy Stardust rocker himself, his friends, and others. He painted them between 1995 and 1997.

The 24 by 20-centimeter painting of a pale figure dressed in teal clothes, with teal and red hair on a crimson background, was originally sold through a website around 2001.

The Bowie painting somehow found itself two decades later at a donations store in South River, Ontario. There, an anonymous buyer paid $4 (about ₦2,000) for it.

“We were very excited to discover that the artwork was original and authentic,” Cowley had told AFP at the start of the two-week online auction. He said a Bowie autographs expert authenticated Bowie’s signed initials on the back.

The seller is “delighted and shocked” that the painting fetched such a high price.

Bowie attended art school and collected hundreds of artworks during his lifetime. After his death, they sold for tens of millions of dollars. But his own artworks, according to Cowley, rarely go on sale.

Starting with Space Oddity in 1969, Bowie scored hit after hit over more than four decades. They ranged from The Jean Genie and Heroes in the 1970s to Let’s Dance and Modern Love in the 1980s to more recent hits like 2013’s wistful Where Are We Now?.

However, two days after the release of his 25th studio album, Blackstar, on his 69th birthday, David Bowie died of cancer on January 10, 2016.

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